“Do You Wanna Play, Carl? – Anthology” by Carl Palmer

Artist: Carl Palmer
Title: “Do You Wanna Play, Carl? – Anthology”
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 10/9/2001
Genre: Progressive
Rating: 7/10

Carl Palmer is one of the most amazing drummers to ever sit behind the drum kit and this Anthology gives the listener a little different approach to the man and his very inspirational career. Comprised of several songs by mega Progressive genius’ Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP for short) as well Asia, Mike Oldfield and more it’s a decades spanning listen to some of his best work. Given the different bands featured we will review a little bit about each one for better appreciation of the piece. ELP was among the more unique of bands every to come out of the Progressive Rock scene in the early 70’s. Known for over the top displays of instrumental adventure and above par musicianship it was easy to see why the level of appeal for this band was so great. Keyboardist Keith Emerson was a wizard on his numerous level setups and keeping it interesting throughout each song was Carl Palmer. Carl gave new meaning to the words drum set using a mega-sized percussive setup that would make the gear head drummers drool with glee every time they saw it. Carl was also a master on this drum set and treated them as individual instruments proving to the world that the drummer was not always someone who simply kept time during the song. Every effort by ELP was as much a contained solo expression as much as a demonstration of their song-writing. The first twelve songs are ELP tracks but not the ones you would expect to find on an Anthology. Instead of the popular vocal numbers like “Karn Evil” and the rest you are treated to the instrumental displays like “Toccata” and “Concierto for Percussion”. Great stuff that you would not normally find unless you looked deeper into the bands catalog.

Some of Carl’s first recordings ever are featured on CD2 by “The Craig” which is a nice touch but the offerings by Asia are great but far too little a representation of this great band that featured the musician. I recommend the three CD collection that features this bands earliest work in one cool package. The CD comes with a loaded booklet and great bio information and photos. If you didn’t know enough about Carl before, this certainly helps you out on this end. The focus on more of his instrumental work than “radio popular” stuff might make this something aimed at a limited demographic yet I feel any fan of the Progressive great will appreciate it.

CD2 Track & Band Listing: I Must Be Mad & Suspense (The Craig), Love Light (The Chants), Decline And Fall (Atomic Rooster), You’ve Got Me Rockin’ & Dynamite (Carl Palmers PM), Mount Teidi & Ready Mix (Mike Oldfield), Heat Of The Moment, Wildest Dreams & Time Again (Asia), Desda La Vida & Eight Miles High (3), Hoedown (Qango), Shawnee (Palmer and Buddy Rich Orchestra.

Track List (ELP Stuff):
1. Concierto For Percussion
2. The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits
3. The Pancha Suite
4. Bullfrog
5. Toccata
6. Close But Not Touching
7. LA Nights
8. Canario
9. Tank
10. Two Part Invention in D Minor
11. Fanfare For The Common Man
12. March Militaire

Official Web site: www.carlpalmer.com

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